Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) blasted Rep. Matt Gaetz (R- Fla.), saying his comments on the Second Amendment were not “protected by the First Amendment.”
At the “America First” rally in Dalton, Ga. on Thursday, Gaetz slammed big tech censorship and reminded supporters of their rights enumerated in the U.S. Constitution to protect against oppression—the First and Second Amendments.
Gaetz was clarifying the founding intent of the Second Amendment. He said, “the Second Amendment is not about hunting, it’s not about recreation, it’s not about sports,” as reported by Newsweek.
“The Second Amendment is about maintaining, within the citizenry, the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government,” Gaetz continued, “if that becomes necessary.”
After a video was clipped of him speaking went viral, Kinzinger represented Gaetz’s comments as “not speech protected by the first amendment” in a tweet.
Kinzinger accused his remarks to be “beyond yelling fire in a theater,” which is an established exception to First Amendment freedom of speech protections.
Some members of the media suggested that Gaetz incited supporters “to carry out armed rebellion,” which was mischaracterized in a report by The Daily Beast.
“The media and others have falsely attributed his line on the Second Amendment to his finishing sentence on Big Tech,” Gaetz’s Communications Director Joel Valdez told MRCTV in an email. “The two were not related.”
Valdez continued, “Congressman Gaetz was making a series of statements regarding constitutional rights.”